Sunday, October 29, 2006

Johnny Cash Gets No Love

The other night I went out to this great little British Pub they have here in Palo Alto, The Rose & Crown. Its a neat little place with great beers and a rockin' juke box; a pretty decent crowd is also in there on most weekends. Anywho, I stepped into the loo and of course it was decorated with various knick knacks, most of which were British or Irish related. What caught my eye was a semi-famous picture of Johnny Cash that had been the subject of quite a bit of abuse.
Johnny Cash gets no love at the Rose and Crown.

Have Some Habanero

The other week whilst Thew and I were out and about in San Mateo we stumbled across the Prince of Wales pub (see previous post) and what they bill as "The New Century's Hottest Hamburger!" for sale on the premises. Now, Thew and I, being New Mexicans, take a certain amount of pride in being able to consume obscene amounts of chile in a non-chalant fashion. Your hottest hot sauce? Bring it on, and pass the Tabasco while you're at it, 'cause I need something to spice up this Bloody Mary. You get the idea. So when we saw this claim, nay, boast, we had to take it on for size.

So on Saturday afternoon we rolled down to this fine establishment, bellied up to the bar, ordered two pints of Pabst & two Habanero Burgers. The first indication that you might be treading into some seriously saucy waters is the little waiver they make you sign. Of course, my inflated ego coupled with limited legal experience scoffed with a "oh, that's cute."

Our orders entered, we retired with our pints of PBR to await the arrival of the hottest hamburgers we had ever laid eyes (and tongues) upon. Soon enough, the bar maid called my name and there were two tantalizing, open-faced burgers in red baskets laid before me. The first thing Thew and I noted was the copious amount of habanero topping on the burger itself. In the picture note the red glob on the patty -- that's the habanero. Thew made the decision to sample a fry dipped in the mix to gauge the hot level before we dove right in. Needless to say, this small sample, as hot as it was, did not deter us (and it WAS mighty hot).

So, with a small fry sample already warning us against it, we dove right into our burgers. People, let me tell you, this was a BIG mistake. Well, maybe not so much a mistake, per se, as just an ill advised adventure. If I were to try and tell you what I went through in the subsequent five minutes, it would be something like this: Imagine a cat. Now imagine that cat on fire. Now imagine that burning, thrashing feline being shoved into your mouth claws and fire and all, then someone giving you a square kick in the genitals (if you are male). There are no words to describe this sensation other than to tell you that I was seeing double and my body dumped so much endorphin into my system that I was seriously high from it. But even being on an endorphin rush did not lessen the habanero hurt. I made several comments to that degree and the grizzled locals at the bar had a hearty round of laughs at my expense. Were it not that my eyes were crossed and my nose was running like a faucet I might have made a smart ass comment in reply, but this was not to be the case. I was worthless. Thew actually excused himself to vomit outside, which turned out to be a bad idea as it reintroduced his esophagus to the pleasures of habenro both coming and going.

After about half the burger I knew that I was hurting, but I reminded myself of my commitment and pushed on. I tried to think of those competitive eating folks who suck down 50+ hot dogs by embracing "the wall" and forcing their bodies to keep consuming. In the end I was victorious, but at the cost of 3 years shaved off my life and 2 pints of PBR. Afterwards I felt like I had just climbed a mountain; my body was spent but I had such a head rush I was giddy. We went home and crashed out for about 2 hours each while our bodies did their best to readjust to normality. Seriously, the Habanero Burger was a great feat for me. Thew thinks that worldiwde only 5% of the population could willingly endure the whole burger. I would be inclined to agree. It is awful, in all honesty. I think the burger might be good by itself, but the habenro was too much. It was a noble foe, but I would consider this a Pyrrhic victory, at best. I powered through it, but afterwards any belch carried a whaff of habanero that gave me the dry heaves.

Of course, my mission accomplished I took some pictures of the various signs they have around the Prince of Wales celebrating the Habanero Burger. I will say that a burger of that caliber (in terms of pain inflicted) deserves such accolades.

Later, after our guts had returned to some state of normalcy we ventured out to get burgers yet again, but this time from a more reputable establishment. This time things were much smoother going down. I will note, as a sidebar, that this is the most meat I've eaten in a day in like, 5 years. But burgers are good, so we'll not complain. Woo hoo!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

GO GRIZ!!!!!!

Well, it's Saturday and that means one thing: College Football. The only game that really counts is the Griz game in Montana. This week they take on the Idaho State Bengals.

Sidebar: I actually played rugby for the Bengals during a tournament there. Their Outside Center was down and they needed a man to fill in so I stepped up. I love the camaraderie of rugby.


Yeah, these are a little tired and what not, but it makes me laugh. Cinco cero cinco en la casa, y'all.

  • You can correctly pronounce Tesuque, Cerrillos, and Pojoaque.

  • Your next door neighbor has a sweat lodge in her back yard.

  • You have been told by at least one out-of-state vendor that they are going to charge you extra for "international" shipping.

  • You expect to pay more if your house is made of mud.

  • You can order your Big Mac with green chile.

  • You buy salsa by the half-gallon.

  • You are still using the paper license tag that came with your car five years ago.

  • Your Christmas decorations include "a yard of sand and 200 paper bags."

  • Most restaurants you go to begin with "El" or "Los."

  • You hated Texans until the Californians moved in.

  • The tires on your roof have more tread than the ones on your car.

  • You price shop for tortillas.

  • You have an extra freezer just for green Chile.

  • You think a red light is merely a suggestion.

  • You believe that using a turn signal is a sign of weakness.

  • You think six tons of crushed rock makes a beautiful front lawn.

  • You ran for state legislature so you can speed legally.

  • You pass on the right because that's the fast-lane.

  • You have read a book while driving from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.

  • You know they don't skate at the Ice House and the Newsstand doesn't sell newspapers.

  • You think Sadies was better when it was in the bowling alley.

  • There is a piece of a UFO displayed in your home.

  • You just got your fifth DWI and got elected to the state legislature in the same week.

  • Your swamp cooler got knocked off your roof by a dust devil.

  • You have been on TV more than three times telling about your alien abduction.

  • You can actually hear the Taos hum.

  • All your out-of-state friends and relatives visit in October.

  • You think LasVegas is a town in the northeastern part of the state.

  • You iron your jeans to "dress up".

  • You don't see anything wrong with drive-up window liquor sales.

  • Your other vehicle is also a pick-up truck.

  • Two of your cousins are in Santa Fe, one in the legislature the other in the state pen.

  • You know the punch line to at least one Espanola joke.

  • You have driven to an Indian Casino at 3am because you were hungry.

  • You think the Lobos fight song is "Louie, Louie."

  • You know whether you want "red or green."

  • You're relieved when the pavement ends because the dirt road has fewer pot-holes.

  • You see nothing odd when, in the conversations of the people in line around you at the grocery store, every other word of each sentence alternates between Spanish and English.

  • You know you will run into at least 3 cousins while shopping at Sams, Wal-Mart, or the Price Club
  • Friday, October 27, 2006

    Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

    I walked all over today, and was all the way in San Jose. I had another J-O-B interview, this one with the eponymous county. It went well, I would be doing total grunt work, but its in a field that I am interested in, so that's what appeals to me.

    Anywho, while I was waiting to go and have the interview I went downstairs to the cafeteria of the building and got some water from a vending machine. As chance would have it the county wedding chapel was down there as well and I happened to spy some newly wed happy couples pouring out. I wrote down my reflections, enjoy:

    I saw a couple after they had been wed today at the County Courthouse in San Jose. They were island people; the grandmother was in attendance wearing a red shirt covered in Hibiscus flowers.

    The bride wore white, the groom a black suit with white sneakers. Grandma held a baby while two friends of the couple took pictures and smiled along.

    It was so beautiful, so touching this little scene. A no-frills marriage at the county building in SJ; it made me reflect on things that are not and may never be.

    Young people getting married have so much exuberance-- so much promise for what life has in store. I, of course, see this in their eyes & almost immediately press fast forward in my mind to worst case scenarios; like in seven years when she's pregnant with his best friend's child & he's an abusive alkie.

    I guess I am a cynic. This realization lands flat with me because cynicism is easy. Cynicism is the art of raining on a sunny day. Debbie Downer stuff. Perhaps I am not such a cynic but a realist. Which reality? This is an open ended existential quandary.

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    A Day In The Mission

    I spent today in the Mission District of San Francisco, around 24th street. The Mission is awesome. Its a heavily Hispanic area, which is right to my liking as I grew up in NEW Mexico. I did notice a lot of Asian folk running around, though. A new population trend in action?

    Anywho, I was there for a job interview -gasp- we'll let you know what happens. Presumably if I gain employment I will lose the time I have to devote to this fine past time. Oh, woe is the world, I know. Do not fear vigilant readers (all 3 of you :P), I will still write.

    The Mission is nice. I had an awesome enchilada for lunch and was able to order the entire thing in Spanish, which I really enjoyed. One, for the fact that they spoke Spanish at this place and two for the fact that I was able to keep up. Sometimes the Mexican accent (especially Northern Mexicans) is a little too rapido for me. It makes me feel like some sort of undercover agent to kick it in Spanish while the other gringos stumble along in a nervous, slow and drawn out English. The best part is when the people they're so delicately speaking to just break out with a "You know, I DO speak English," and the non-Spanish speaker feels a little silly for having been presumptuous. In the converse, I have never begun speaking in Spanish to someone at a taco joint only to have them stop me and say "You know, this is AMERICA, where we speak ENGLISH!" Just the thought of that taking place makes me laugh.

    Unfortunately, I didn't get any cool pics in the Mission, but let me give you a break down of what I saw: Taco/burrito stands, Clothing stores a-plenty, More clothing stores, Churches, Hipster Bars, Dive Bars, fun little apartment buildings, old men sitting on the corner smoking, little kids asking their mom for money to buy helado, and more Clothing stores.

    I did manage, however, to snap a pic on my phone of a bad ass Dodge Dart on the way home in Milbrae. Check it out. It was for sale, I think the guy was asking $7500 or so, which I think is a little high; but it did have 318 V8 was a Swinger edition, not a Stinger. It was also in good condition, with a nice paint job and the interior was really nice. Best of luck to you, dude.

    "Sexsomniacs" puzzle medical researchers

    LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters Life!) - Researchers are struggling to understand a rare medical condition where sufferers unknowingly demand, or actually have, sex while asleep, New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday.

    Research into sexsomnia -- making sexual advances toward another person while asleep -- has been hampered as sufferers are so embarrassed by the problem they tend not to own up to it, while doctors do not ask about it.

    As yet there is no cure for the condition, which often leads to difficulties in relationships.

    "It really bothers me that I can't control it," Lisa Mahoney told the magazine. "It scares me because I don't think it has anything to do with the partner. I don't want this foolish condition to hurt us in the long run."

    Most researchers view sexsomnia as a variant of sleepwalking, where sufferers are stuck between sleep and wakefulness, though sexsomniacs tend to stay in bed rather than get up and walk about.

    While sleepwalking affects two to four percent of adults, sexsomnia is not thought to be as common a problem, according to Nik Trajanovic, a researcher at the sleep and alertness clinic at Canada's Toronto Western Hospital.

    But an Internet survey of sexsomniacs carried out in 2005 that drew 219 reliable respondents concluded it was more prevalent than medical case reports alone might suggest.

    "Most of the time sleep sex occurs between people who are already partners," Mark Pressman, a sleep specialist at Lankenan Hospital in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, told the New Scientist.

    "Sometimes they hate it," added Pressman of the reactions of sexsomniacs' partners. "Sometimes they tolerate it. On rare occasions you have stories of people liking it better than waking sex."

    With no cure, addressing triggering factors -- stress or sleep deprivation -- can help, while Michael Mangan, a psychologist at the University of New Hampshire in the U.S. has set up a Web site,, to help sufferers.

    Meanwhile Trajanovic is devising a procedure for diagnosing sexsomnia in legal cases where sufferers have been accused of sexual assault.

    © Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    Get Hyphy

    This is footage from an Oakland Athletic League (OAL) basketball game I found on YouTube by searching for "hyphy" last night. What I love is the pure energy that these kids possess; they're just getting down. I wish I could have seen the play that preceded this little display.

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    Target: Right On The Money

    So I ventured to Target today after coming to the realization that downtown Palo Alto is not the place to purchase a simple tea kettle. Oh no, good sir, they'll gladly sell you a $60 wonder down at Whole Foods, but for the below $10 market you need to venture to other locales. Which for me means a bus ride. Yay! I'll take this moment to promote and their awesome route finder function.

    So I made it to my bus stop at about 11:30, caught the bus to Mountain View (nearest Target to me, according to the website). I would have gone to the one in Redwood City since I am fairly sure of where it is located and how to get there, but I have an indomitable sense of adventure (also, see prior parenthetical phrase), so new places it is!

    Bus rides are interesting. I always love the mix of folks. An old Vietnam vet seated next to an elderly Asian woman who watches the Latino lady with three kids walk to the back of the bus. I am in love with people, and more precisely, the practice of observing them.

    Which brings me to Target. Target was/is great for people watching I have found. Being the uber pragmatist that I am I first sought out my tea kettle. The kettles were easy enough to locate, but the variety one is presented with is a little much. But such is capitalism and the diverse market catering to numerous tastes. I went with the el cheapo bottom line special at $6.99. Can't beat that. Kettle selection done with I proceeded to wander about Target trying to figure out what else, if anything, I should grab while in this Mecca of consumer goodies. At one point the usefulness of shopping lists crossed my mind, but I checked myself by remembering that this was a sole purpose mission and had only bloomed into more once I arrived.

    The Mountain View Target stocks wine, which astonishes me. Really. Only in California. Maybe only in Northern California? I have never been to a Target with liquor sales (is wine considered liquor?). California folk love their old grape juice, though and they will not be denied it, even if it has to be next to discount Halloween decorations.

    There were quite a few people walking around in Target with kids and what not. Kids make me laugh. On that note, I'll get into a child stereotyping list based on today's observations:

  • Asian Children: Quiet; ubiquitous bowl hair cuts. Will run to their parents if they see you.

  • Hispanic/Latino Children: Loud; always more than one. Will run up and spray you with Silly String/throw a toy at you if they see you.

  • White Children: Loud, and usually confined to the cart in some way. Will Scream their Mother/Father's first name if you look at them.

  • Black Children: Completely oblivious to you. They're there for the toys, sucka.

  • The uniforms at Target make me think that no "Crips" gang member would ever be able to work there. Better luck at Wal-Mart perhaps? Target also appears to have a rather lax uniform enforcement policy, which seems like it would be a comfortable place to work (literally). There were lots of untucked shirts and popped collars. Go, Target fashionistas, go!

    P.S.: If I see target launch an ad campaign with this entry's title as the hook I am suing them big time. I'm here for the money, sucka!

    Random Video

    Here's some video of horses walking at Bay Meadows race track (see below post). Random stuff I uploaded to YouTube.

    Danny Bonaduce vs. Gary Busey

    Who would win?

    Anywho, I didn't do much today in the way of interesting, just managed to keep myself busy. I did learn that a tea kettle is a difficult item to obtain in downtown Palo Alto if you refuse to pay for some $50 piece of crap art noveau piece. I just need a tea kettle, people. Something simple. Looks like I have to make the hike to the nearest Target tomorrow. Thank you,

    Monday, October 23, 2006

    I Hope You Like Pain

    I was browsing the web this morning and got onto a Street Fighter II kick (pun intended). I strated to read up on the character Vega, the Spanish bullfighter guy. One link lead to another, and I found this lovely little web collection of men who will likely not be starring in the next Chuck Norris feature, except perhaps as targets for ass whooping. Much props to the guy at the end of the clip and his utter confusion as to why the 2 X 4 is not breaking.

    I Hope You Like Pain - video powered by Metacafe

    Lazy Sunday (sort of)

    I spent today cookin' up content for this here website. Yee haw! While this may not seem like that great of an endeavour it was actually kind of labor intensive. The folks at Blogger do a great job, but I'm the kind of guy who likes to tweak things until they're just right.

    In other news the Raiders *finally* won a game today. Against Arizona, of all teams. I feel bad for Matt Leinart. He tries, he really does. I was half watching to see if AZ's coach would lose his cool like last week against the Bears. Ha!

    Also, the Lions won. Woo-hoo! I seriously thought that they were gonna give it away in the 9th again, like they did last nite. Hang tight boys! Jeez! Focus! The next games will not be on home turf, I hope they can keep it together.

    Sunday, October 22, 2006

    A Day at the Races, and a Little Adventure Afterwards

    The other day while riding the train to the city I passed Bay Meadows Race Track and it occurred to me that this might be a fun day just waiting to happen. So Thew and I looked up the race times (no simulcast, please) and away we went one merry afternoon.

    Neither Thew or I are very adept bettors, despite having been raised in a horse track town. We managed to find a nice guy who supplied us with "Betting for Beginners" booklets that solved all that. On a side note, the "Betting for Beginners" booklets are a brilliant idea by the gambling industry; they allow a complete novice to tentatively understand complex betting schemes relatively quickly. Vegas has the same setup. It lets you part with your money more quickly.

    Anywho, we started betting (and losing) on the ponies, and it was real fun. I took some photos. Bay Meadows is a nice enough place, not very spit polished. Lots of old men wandering about muttering in Spanish and Cantonese. All in all I think I made enough to pay for one of the beers I bought.

    After Bay Meadows Thew and I went to this little waterning hole right outside the gates, where Thew had a card entitling him to "Free Beer". The story goes (from Thew) that one night he was out in Palo Alto wearing his Yankess cap (BOOOOO!!!!) and he was the only guy in this sports bar wearing anything Yankees. The proprietor of the Prince of Wales in San Mateo saw Thew's brave display of Yankee pride and gave him a business card, signed, with the note for "Free Beer". So back to the present, we see this place, Thew recalls the story, digs up the card and we decide to venture in. Needless to say, the guy wasn't there, so we had to pay for our Pabst like everyone else. But this was a fun place and I will probably return to give the ol' Habanero Burger a go.

    After The Prince of Wales Pub we ventured down the Camino Real to this little dive we had seen from the train but never been to, The Carlos Club. It was cool in there. Pretty divery, as we expected. Amy, the bartneder, was very nice. She was amazed at my knowledge of music that had been produced prior to my birth. Don't stop believin' Amy -- hold on to that feeling. It was also here at the Carlos Club where I watched Detroit lose to St. Louis in Game 1 of the Series. Damn. I had my rally cap on and some douche bag with his wife told me to stop drumming on the bar for the last at bat. Shut up, Old Man River. Let me lose with some pride, please.

    So after the Tigers got their ass handed to them we proceeded toward a house party in the Excelsior district. This was only accomplished by the miracle of my new phone which has *the* coolest navigation program on it. Totally worth the money all the way.

    The house was located on a hill, which provided me a great vantage to snap a pic from.

    Inside, it was pretty fun. There were a lot of people, none of whom I knew, but I started introducing myself around and pretty soon discovered that there were a lot of New Mexicans in the house (literally). Being from a state with a relatively small population leads to new friends when you're far from home, I've found. This was my first house party in the 'Sco and it was a real good time. Everyone was just hanging out, eating some food and drinkin' brews. I was real glad to be wearing a Giants cap, cuz there was a guy wearing some Dodgers gear and he catching some flack for it. But he should've known, yeah? I mean, come on, the Dodgers? In SF?

    We rolled out after a time for good old PA; all in all a good night after a fun day at the races.

    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    The First Entry

    A friend has a blog that I can't comment on because I wasn't a *member* of this cute little blog community. So here I am. Rock you like a hurricane.